Rum Of Martinique

Rhum Agricole AOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) is one of the great cultural cornerstone of the Martinican creole culture, since the first cane sugar plantations built on the Island. Martinique produces mainly Rhum Agricole, highest quality of Rum.

History

Copper Distillation Column.
Neisson Rum Distillerie (Le Carbet)

Since the 17th Century, the alcohol made of cane juice, produced in Martinique, had different names such as: Tafia, Guildive, Tue Diable ( Devil’s Murderer), at the end of century its most known name Rum will prevail.

The Steam Engine enhancing the traditional mills improved greatly the production, taking the milling of the cane on a larger scale.

Since some of the cane producers were geographically isolated, far from the distilleries, they started their own process on site, fermented & distilled their own cane juice at the farms, the Rhum Z’habitant (Landlord’s rhum) was born. Nowadays its name is Rhum Agricole.

The Martinican producers where the first to obtain a certified Label. By Decree on November the 5th 1996, published in the Official Journal Of The French Republic of the 8th November, the Rhum Agricole of Martinique received the Label AOC Martinique (Controlled Designation Of Origin).

This AOC was obtain after 20 years of the key players in that field working towards that goal, which validate the great quality of a product.
It was delivered by the government bureau called Institut National des Appellations D’origines.
First Overseas AOC ever, and moreover for a liquor and spirit, that labeled the Rhum Agricole of Martinique as a noble spirit linked to an exceptional geographical area. This Label of Origin evokes the strong links between the terroir, the men’s “savoir faire” acquired and perfected, generation after generation.

Production
Martinique in 2012 had produced 22550 Gallons (85 366 hl) of pure alcohol (HAP), 85% of it was Rhum Agricole.

NB: The Rhum Agricole is produced from fermented cane juice, whereas the basic rum is produced from molasses residues and left over of the Sugar Plants (Galion Sugar Plant in Martinique for exemple). You can find 7 active steaming distilleries producing Rhum Agricole, and one plant that produces cane sugar and traditional rum.

74% of the Rum production is exported outside of Martinique, mainly to metropolitan France, EU, and some Asian Countries.

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